Nov. 3 2018 06:00 AM

Campaign is a response to the expansion of higher ethanol fuel blends.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Alexandria, Virginia, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Chicago, launched "Protect Your Power," a consumer education program in response to President Donald Trump's announcement in early October intending to expand the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) from a seasonal ban to year-round availability.

Outdoor power equipment (as well as UTVs, ATVs, boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and other small engine equipment) are not designed, built or warranted to run on higher ethanol fuel blends, such as E15. OPEI has long advised and educated consumers to remain vigilant about properly fueling power equipment.

Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, says that "fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol can damage or destroy outdoor power equipment and other small engines.” Kiser states that fueling with E10 or less gas is the best way to protect outdoor power equipment and keep it running strong. He advises people to read their owners’ manuals for guidance on correct fueling for any equipment or small engine product rather than choosing fuel based on price.

Research supports the need for more consumer education to protect equipment from misfueling, notes Kiser. According to annual research conducted by OPEI with the Harris Poll, an increasing number of outdoor power equipment owners are using the wrong type of fuel in their products. In 2018, 11 percent of consumers reported using E15, E30, E50, or E85 to fuel their equipment, up from 7 percent in 2015.

Kiser says, "Unfortunately, the small warning stickers placed on fuel pumps are not enough to prevent mis-fueling and do little to educate consumers. Consumers need to be vigilant year round when it comes to fueling and remember that E10 or less is always best for outdoor power equipment."

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